day 52
the spam museum

Iowa Highway Patrol: "If you wish to appear in court to
contest this, it's just up here at Cedar Rapids Courthouse."
Kevin: "Nah, you got me."
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The Odds on Austin:
SPAM Invented: 1936
Invented By: Jay Hormel
Son Of: George Hormel
Calories: 170 cal in 2 oz.
Cans Made: 435 per min.

Claim to Fame: Hormel sent nearly two million 50 lb crates of SPAM to soldiers in WWII. Soldiers quickly developed a love-hate relationship with the pink product.

Spielberg Moment of the Day
Spiced Ham = SPAM
Kenneth Daigneau won $100 for suggesting the name for SPAM in 1936 at a New Year's party thrown by Jay Hormel.
SPAM Recipe #425:

8 (7-in.) flour tortillas, wrapped in foil
1 pound Anaheim or poblano chiles
1 12-ounce can SPAM
sliced into 1/2 in. squares
2 onions, cut into wedges
1 cup CHI-CHI'S salsa verde
chopped tomatoes
shredded mozzarella
sour cream

Prepare your grill!
Place tortillas, chilies, SPAM, and onions on grill. Baste SPAM and chilies with salsa verde. Cover. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until chilies are roasted. To serve, slice SPAN and chilies into thirds; place in warm tortilla. Serve with tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream. Serves 4 or fewer if your friends are realllly hungry for SPAM.

This recipe is courtesy of - thanks, SPAM.
My Speeding Ticket:
Speed limit: 65 mph
My speed: 81 mph
Highway patrol: Nice
Dropped to: 75 mph
Cost: $41.00

Spam I Am
Oct 17 - Austin, Texas was recently selected as one of the 50 most beautiful places in America by National Geographic. We're wondering why they skipped past Austin, Minnesota - the home of Hormel Foods and the newly opened SPAM Museum.

We all know SPAM. We all love SPAM. Think of the museum as the ultimate tribute to an American pop culture icon. Just last week we were talking about how sick we were of museums, because they all seem to be constantly dumbing-down the exhibits so that you don't strain your brain. Well, this isn't a fault of the gorgeously designed SPAM Museum.

Normally museums force you to make a major decision right from the start: are you willing to pay $12.50 to see the Virginia Space Museum's latest exhibit on Asteroids (a National Geographic costs $3.95 and their coverage is better) or will you quickly browse through the gift shop and skeedaddle? When faced with this decision, we normally opt for the latter.

However, when we reached the SPAM Museum, we were prepared to pay a hefty price for the experience. But guess what? It's FREE. That's right. Put your wallet back in your pocket because your money's no good here!

We knew at that point it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Moments later, after being greeted by enthusiastic SPAM-ettes, we were in a museum that would have made Frank Lloyd Wright jealous. Completed in a mere 18 months, the museum is first and foremost a design success. The designers know the SPAM appeal and they went with the kitch, not against it. Their doors, from the right angle, look like piggies. The Cyberdiner has a plate o' breakfast with a trackball egg yolk and a butter square button. Even the clouds in the theatre are vaguely shaped like happy hogs.

The exhibit are beautifully engineered as well. It's got the typical--timelines and the like--but they've loaded it with the nostalgic to the just-plain-silly. Giant SPAM cans, KSPAM radio, ads through the years, Hormel employee dressup costumes, a "This Is Your Life" spoof with cardboard cutout automated puppets... you name it, they've got it. Every museum trick in the book. But it's about SPAM, so it's cool.

On our way out they called to us, asking if we'd picked up our gift.

Whassa? A gift?

But it is we who should be thanking you.

The Austin Plant processes its 50 millionth hog.
Sugar n' Spice n' All Things Nice: What's SPAM Made of?

Ham: SPAM may have more ham or pork depending upon the price of ham: the higher the price, the less ham. So if ham's really expensive, what's in your SPAM?

Non-Meat Fillers: The company isn't specific on this one. Although if they put in pig's snout, lips, ears, certain pig tongues (?) and hearts, they have to list them on the label.

Salt: Salt, as our good friend Dean knows, adds flavour to just about anything. It also acts as a preservative. Your SPAM would have to be cooked longer if not for the salt.

Sugar: Just for the heck of it.

Sodium Nitrite: This fancy additions makes your SPAM sounds more like a science experiment than the pork snout that you love. But it's important because it acts as a preservative as well as inhibiting bacteria growth that can cause botulism. Also, it gives SPAM that lovely pink color. Without it, your SPAM would be brown, and that's not right.

spamming it up...




more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Austin, MN

Next Stop: Iowa City

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Rather Nice

Daily Stats
SPAM on Wall:3,500

SPAM Exam Score:7-5
Host:Al Franken

Sleeping Quarters
Alissa's Mom's House

Alissa's old room. It was like coming home. We got to snoop through all of Alissa's childhood belongings and laugh at her 80's Flashdance hair.

The Kitchen
Owatonna, MN
K's Order:2 Eggs Over Easy, Bacon, Toast, Coffee
A's Order:Toast, Coffee
Johnny's Restaurant
Austin, MN
K's Order:Superman Spam Burger w/ Fries
A's Order:Western Spam Burger w/ Hashbrowns

El Ranchero
Iowa City
K's Order:Special Dinner
A's Order:Crunchy Fried Tacos
B's Order:Burrito Special
J's Order:Burrito Special
Cost:Barb's Treat!
How Kevin Felt Afterwards:

Your email address...

Yay! A Shower!
© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Faster than the speed of Radar.